Twitter users who secure their accounts via SMS will lose the extra layer of security after March 20 unless they change their two-factor authentication method or pay for the platform’s subscription service.
Two-factor authentication allows people to protect their accounts even if someone has stolen their password. Twitter users who have enabled this security process can log into their account after entering their password and a code received via text message or an authenticator app. They can also use a security key.
The company said in a blog post it no longer allows “accounts to enroll in the SMS/SMS method of 2FA unless they are Twitter Blue subscribers.”
To be clear, two-factor authentication is still not required to sign in to Twitter, although we strongly encourage users to enable it. This change only limits the 2FA methods available to accounts that are not subscribed to Twitter Blue Twitter Support tweeted Friday. Twitter Blue, the platform’s subscription service, costs $8 per month if you subscribe over the web or $11 per month on your mobile device.
Twitter users can change their two-factor authentication app through their account settings. Once users click on ‘security and account access’, three different options will be listed in a two-factor authentication section.
Twitter’s announcement came hours after Platformer’s Zoë Schiffer tweeted that the social network scheduled to implement this change. It’s another example of how Twitter is trying to entice more users to subscribe to Twitter Blue while advertisers scale back their spending following billionaire Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover of the company last year. The Information reported earlier this month that Twitter has about 180,000 subscribers in the US, so the service doesn’t appear to be popular among the platform’s users. The company has been trying to get more people to subscribe by offering a coveted blue tick, longer tweets, and other features.
The change also comes as Twitter is getting more criticism and complaints from whistleblowers about how the company is not doing enough to ensure user safety. Last year, Twitter users complained that two-factor authentication wasn’t working properly and the company said it was investigating cases where SMS codes weren’t delivered.
Using a text message for two-factor authentication, Twitter said in a blog post, has been “used — and abused — by bad actors.” Hackers have attempted to access codes sent via SMS by transferring a person’s phone number to another device in what is known as SIM swapping.
Twitter users who disable SMS-2FA will not automatically have their phone number disconnected from their account, but will be able to update their number in the account settingsthe company said.
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